Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lady Lazarus


Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.

-from "Lady Lazarus" by Sylvia Plath


Well, this post isn't really about jewelry or beading directly, so I suppose I'm cheating a little bit. However, I've been looking for inspiration tonight, and, for me, that often entails reading poetry - and, for once, it's not Shakespeare! I am a fan of Sylvia Plath's work. I read The Bell Jar in high school and started reading her poetry shortly thereafter. Out of all of her work, I have always found "Lady Lazarus" to be the most powerful. It is tactile, graphic, disturbing and even offensive. (Regarding this last, I have been fretting a little that people unfamiliar with the poem and Plath's work may find it offensive, so you have been warned. It is what I have been reading right now, so I decided to go ahead and post this.) Whether you like it or hate it, it tends to linger in the mind after reading. I happen to love the image of the phoenix that appears at the end (see above quote). How this will translate for me into a new jewelry design, I don't know yet, but I know that it eventually will, whether it be in the color or mood of a piece (right off the top of my head, the poem makes me think of stark, sharp pieces in bold colors) or whether I will simply use a quotation from the poem.

The BBC has a wonderful recording of Plath reading the poem herself in their arts section. Please go here to listen to it and/or to read the entire poem (and judge for yourself whether you find it inspiring). If you find that this poem also inspires you to create new work, please do share. If you are also inspired by what you are currently reading, I'd love to hear about it (and learn what you're reading, of course), too.

Thanks for visiting!

5 comments:

Bev's Jewelry said...

I love the "eye" in your necklace.
As for poetry, it has never been my thing. Having said that though, I see a change in my "old age". I'm actually writing (in my blog) something that I never have been able or wanting to do before. I've always figured when I have something to say, I'll say it. So it is with my writing too. My focus was always on math and science. Now - not so much. One can learn new tricks.

Thanks for sharing your inspiration with all of us. I really enjoy reading your posts.
Bev

Melissa J. Lee said...

Thank you, Bev! I find it interesting that your background is more math and science (which I never would have guessed). I always loved math, but the practical applications stumped me - physics was my weakest subject in high school, despite being good at math. In the end, I married an engineer who has a B.S. in physics. I figure together we make a whole, which seems proper to me.

Bev's Jewelry said...

The interesting thing is that my husband who is very practical always asks "How did you get out of Arithmetic?" I love calculators.

Jean said...

I am looking forward to coming bac to this post and listening to the poetry reading you have so kindly located for me (tooooo busy in here right now!!!) You and I are not so different. Except I read Sylvia Plath in college, on my own.

That is a beautiful necklace you should be so proud of. Thanks for letting us see it!

xox jean

maryharding said...

Beautiful necklace, Melissa. I am so excited that you like Sylvia Plath. She is my very favorite poet. I love her use of language and the power of her images. I love her work because it always affects me and changes me. I have such sorrow though when I think of her sad life.
Thank you so much for the link to her voice.
I too always enjoy your posts.